13 QUESTIONS WITH McALLEN CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER

Bob Vackar

Chairman of the Board and Chief Performance Officer

Bert Ogden Auto Group

 

1) What is your favorite book? I don’t have any favorites. I read a lot of James Patterson. I’ve read all of John Grissom’s books. Right now I’m reading Not a Gentlemanís War, an Inside View of Junior Officers in the Vietnam War by Ron Milam.

2) What is your favorite movie? The movie I’ve liked the best is Sicario, the movie about the cartels. The last one was Sicario: Day of the Soldado. I like action movies and those were about the DEA and the battle with the cartels. When the sequel opens the text across the screen says, “McAllen, Texas.” It says this guy is waiting at the grocery store off Trenton Avenue in McAllen; it had to be H-E-B. The movies were really good. I liked those and A Star is Born.

3) What is your favorite vacation spot? I used to enjoy Napa Valley in California quite a bit. Now it’s Aspen, Colorado. The colors this year were fantastic.

4) What is your life’s  motto? I don’t know that I have one. I’ve always just worked hard so I think it would be work hard and you will be successful.

5) Where were you born? Gonzalez, Texas. 

6) What was a life-changing event in your life? I grew up in Edinburg. At that time a lot of kids weren’t going to college. My dad had remarried and my stepbrother was going to A&M. My sister graduated from PanAm. I went to A&M and graduated so we had three kids from the same family who went to college. We were the first generation in our family to go to college and I think that was life changing right there. 

After I graduated from college I went into the military and was a commissioned officer. The military and Vietnam were big life changers for me. I think it set me straight after college with the discipline and what is required to be an officer. I believe the military is a good experience for any young man. That was probably the biggest life-changer.

Then I married Janet with no intention of ever moving back to the Rio Grande Valley. We ended up moving back here which was a blessing. So I would say marrying Janet was the second major life-changer.

7) What makes you laugh? What I really enjoy are spontaneous happenings, like when we did all those fun things at the arena opening and Janet did that dance. I really enjoy things like that, impromptu events where people are enjoying themselves. 

8) What is the question you most want answered? What are my family members –  Janet, my grandchildren – going to want to do with all this when I’m gone?

9) What is the happiest thing for you to think about? This is going to sound corny but it’s real. The happiest things now are how every day we’re doing something to help others. I could be giving a talk somewhere, or Janet and I could have events to do to help the community. When you take people and put smiles on their face, that’s very fulfilling for me.

10) What was your favorite TV show growing up? Gunsmoke. Those were the days when TV was four hours a day, black and white. There was only one TV on the block, which was my step-brother’s house. So we’d go three houses down and watch TV.

11) What is the first thing you do each morning? I get up, walk outside, get the paper then walk in, make a cup of coffee and sit there and read the paper, every morning.

12) What are any apps or other technology you use to get things done? I use my iPad to communicate with all my employees. We email back and forth all day long on my iPad.

13) What is the last thing you do before going to bed? I always say my prayers before I go to bed. I always have. I think I learned to pray more when I was overseas in Vietnam and that has carried through.